Abstract: A wide array of modern national security threats beyond traditional military force are poised to upset the balance of power in near-peer competition, and preventing surprise along new dimensions of conflict is key to avoiding such an upset. Energy infrastructure integrity is one such dimension. Responsive cybersecurity, or more broadly, digital system flexibility in the face of malign influence, is critical to surprise prevention, particularly with respect to exquisite (i.e., sophisticated, expensive, custom, high-performance) energy systems. A natural dilemma stems from the general applicability constraint of most modern security tools; ubiquitous software implemented on a wide range of hardware, interconnected through the global information infrastructure, is by its universal design unable to leverage hardware-specific details for a cyber-physical security solution.
New ideas regarding cyber-physical security are presented; classical physics and engineering design concepts such as resonances and characterized nonlinearities, along with high-fidelity system models validated a priori, lay new ground for detection and mitigation techniques to tread. In fact, a feature rendering these ideas unpopular among many theoreticians proves most useful to the practitioner – that is, solutions to exquisite system problems are less likely to be broadly generalizable, but the designer of last-line-of-defense systems appreciates the competitive head-start.